Food shelf started at South by students, for students

Food shelf started at South by students, for students

Laura Turner, Staff Writer

Beginning Thursday April 18th from 3:00-3:30 pm, a food shelf will be available to students on a weekly basis. Six South juniors Shira Breen, Naomi Schroeter, Angelo Kelvakis, Etta Harkness-Bartholdi, Luc Jansen, and Gabe Steller have spent the last few months preparing a food shelf as part of a Capstone project through their social studies class. “Our goal is to make food accessible to everyone in the South community,” said Breen.

The Capstone project was very open ended.  The challenge was simple: “To make some sort of positive social change in any community you’re a part of,” explained Breen.

“We were really interested in food justice because food is something that connects all of us, something we all need, and something we take for granted,” Breen expanded. Originally the group planned to work with the city of Minneapolis to put healthy food into corner stores. The group decided that “we would be able to be more effective if we were working in a community that we were more directly a part of,” explained Breen.

They decided to set up a food shelf for the South community. Collection for the food shelf began with a food drive that ended on March 28. “We organized a food drive at South because we thought it would be a positive way for students to be a part of change in their community.”

Breen reported that “A lot of food… shelves and bins full of food” were collected. The second hour in room 126 collected 68 food items and will be awarded a prize for collecting the most of any classroom. The group found it difficult only to provide organic and healthy food to the food shelf. Breen said that a lot of the food is healthy “but we were accepting whatever we got.”

The food drive will be held in Mr. Taggart’s room. It will be set up like a supermarket, with bags and sections for food. Breen assured that Mr. Taggart or a social worker will be the only person on site on collection days. The number of students who visit the food shelf will be recorded, but names will not. “We’re not going to turn anyone away,” Breen said. There will also be space available for students to provide feedback the improve the food shelf.

“I’m worried about students showing up. It [the food shelf] might not get the publicity and awareness that it needs to be known,” said Breen. There will be flyers posted throughout the building and announcements all next week to make students aware of this opportunity.

The Capstone group hopes that the food drive will continue to be an aspect of the South community after the graduate. They urge anyone, particularly underclassmen, who want to get involved to do so. They will continue to hold food drives within South and throughout Minneapolis to support the new South food shelf.